Navratras is one of the holiest festivals celebrated across the country. It is seen as a harbinger of the festival season in India that culminates with Diwali. ‘Navratri’ literally means nine nights and nine forms of Goddess Durga. People throughout India and Nepal observe fast for nine days and worship nine different incarnations of Goddess Durga. With Navratras approaching, we at Khurki decided to share a list of food items you are allowed to eat during these fasts.
Flours and Grains
You can eat singhare ka atta (water chestnut flour), kuttu ka atta (buckwheat flour), rajgira (amaranth), vrat ke chawal (barnyard millet), arrowroot flour or paniphal flour and sabudana (tapioca pearls).
In vegetables, you can eat Potatoes, arbi (colocasia taro roots), sweet potato (shakarkandi), raw banana, suran/yam, and raw or semi ripe papaya. You can also use ginger and lemon juice to add flavour. Some people also include, bottle gourd (lauki), tomatoes, spinach (palak), carrots (gajar) and cucumber (kheera) but some don’t eat these during Navratra fasts.
Fruits and Dry Fruits
You can eat all fruits and variety of dry fruits during fasting; but make sure they are unsalted.
You are allowed to consume milk products like paneer (cottage cheese), milk, curd, ghee, homemade butter, khoya, malai (fresh cream) and condensed milk, people usually prepare milk based sweets like kheer, coconut sweet and varied types of dry fruit sweets.
Spices and Herbs
While fasting you can’t include all spices and herbs there are only few spices which can be used are cumin or cumin powder, black peppercorns or black pepper powder, rock salt (you cannot use normal salt), green cardamom, cloves, dry pomegranate seeds, carom seeds, cinnamon and nutmeg, dry mango powder, you can even use curry, coriander and mint leaves to add flavour.
It is advised not to use any seed oil. Only use pure ghee and peanut oil for cooking and frying is permitted.
There are many readymade falhari snacks specially made to be eaten in Navratri fast like sabudana papad, potato chips, banana chips, potato namkeen with dry fruits, fry peanuts and many more all cooked in ghee with rock salt.